GALION, OH, USA U.S. Marines SSGT, HQ CO, RCT-2, 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC KARABILAH, IRAQ 05/11/2005
Lee Ann Ivy had her own way of saying goodbye to her husband, Marine Staff Sergeant Kendall H. Ivy II, during his funeral Friday morning. She sang to him.
In front of hundreds of mourners at the CrossWay Assembly of God, she faced her husband’s open casket and softly sang “Til I See You Again.”
A family friend said Lee Ann had sung to Kendall at the altar the day they were married.
“He was so devoted,” Lee Ann told mourners. “We had honesty and love. He was such a great father. All his greatest qualities are in his boys.”
It was his profession as a Marine that led him to his death while serving in Iraq.
“My husband was a ‘Grunt,’ ” she said. “He wouldn’t have it any other way. Grunts are special.”
Kendall H. Ivy II, 28, died May 11 in Iraq. He had served in the Marine Corps for 10 years and it was the Corps that brought him home to Galion earlier this week.
It was Marines, fellow Grunts, who carried his coffin to the Richardson-Davis Funeral Home and then to CrossWay. It was Marines who carried the coffin to a burial plot at Fairview Cemetery, who performed Taps, led a riderless horse to the graveside and sent their friend off with a 21-gun salute.
It was a Marine spokesman who told more than 300 mourners at the church that Sergeant Ivy was “a barrel-chested man who hated to lose, read his Bible and loved his kids. A good Marine. The best friend another Marine could have.”
Sergeant Ivy left a wife and three children, sons Caleb and Harrison and a daughter, Reagan. Another child is due in October.
His uncle, Richard Ivy of Galion, said, “He’s leaving a legacy behind in his children. Our family is a large one and we support one another.”
Before he went into the service and before he met his wife, Ivy attended Galion High School. He played football and baseball before his graduation in 1995.
“When it came to sports, he was the first on the field and the last to leave,” his brother Kenneth Ivy, said. “He was a good man, as well as a good Marine. He made an impact on everyone he met.”
At the funeral with Lee Ann Ivy were Sergeant Ivy’s parents, Raymond and Venita “Kay” Duffner Ivy. His brothers, Kenneth, Kevin and Keith, greeted mourners who came to the church.
Among the speakers was the Reverend Gary Hunt, senior pastor of Christian Life Center in Mansfield, who reminded those present that “the military life is an uncomfortable one. These are men who love America and spend much of their careers in foreign lands. They love freedom, yet sacrifice their own to serve. His (Ivy’s) life was not taken. It was given — willingly.”
At the end of the service, mourners filed by the open casket. Then the Marines carried the coffin to a hearse and a long, long line of cars, their lights turned to “bright,” followed on a path that led through Galion, Heise Park and on to Fairview Cemetery. The mourners passed through a city where signs of support for the Ivy family filled windows. And when they returned, there was a huge dinner waiting at the church. Bertha Martin, a member of the group that did the cooking and preparing, said there was a wealth of food donated by individuals, bakeries and restaurants. A very strong show of support, she said.
“We’re expecting somewhere between 300 and 400 people,” she said. Many of them Marines.